Fox News is reporting today that Saudi Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died. Crown Prince Nayef was in his late 70’s. He was responsible for Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks on America. He was the successor to the throne of Saudi Arabia.
The article reports:
Nayef’s death unexpectedly reopens the question of succession in this crucial U.S. ally and oil powerhouse for the second time in less than a year. The 88-year-old King Abdullah has now outlived two designated successors, despite ailments of his own. Now a new crown prince must be chosen from among his brothers and half-brothers, all the sons of Saudi Arabia’s founder, Abdul-Aziz.
The figure believed most likely to be tapped as the new heir is Prince Salman, the current defense minister who previously served for decades in the powerful post of governor of Riyadh, the capital. The crown prince will be chosen by the Allegiance Council, an assembly of Abdul-Aziz’s sons and some of his grandchildren.
As much as there are serious questions about some of the links between Saudi Arabia and radical Islam,the Saudis have traditionally been the ones who have been the voice of sanity in keeping the price of oil under control. The Saudi royal family is also on the radar of the Muslim Brotherhood as a target for the Arab Spring. The death of Crown Prince Nayef will have an impact on the balance of power in OPEC and in the Middle East.